Friday, July 18, 2008

The Age of Augustus

Caesar that is, not my B-rex.

So, today I learned everything I never wanted to know about Octavian Augustus Caesar. Wow! That boy had it rough. He was adopted by Julius Caesar. Was given a top-notch education, including study in Athens. Then, Julius gets himself stabbed. So Octavian has to come home. Only, people want him dead too. But he gets out of that. Then later, he fights with Julius' old buddy, Marc Antony. And he wins! So now, Octavian gets to rule the world! The Roman world anyways.

Turns out, Octavian was really a busy guy. He spent some time in Egypt, where he saw an obelisk he liked. He "asked" some guys to bring it back to Rome for him. Which they did, of course. And he set that sucker up as the pointer of a GIGANTIC sundial. In a HUGEMONGOUS open area. Like the size of a few football fields! And it actually kept track, pretty accurately, of the days, weeks, months, zodiac signs (always important), and even the equinoxes. Pretty coool! Too bad all that has been built over. I say that we should just get rid of all those buildings. They're just the Italian Parliament. Not terribly important. (ha ha)

The obelisk still stands, though it has been moved from its original place. Due to the aforementioned buildings.

We did get to go under a church where archeologists have found part of the sundial. However, since that part of Rome often floods (it's called the Campus Martius), they can't leave it open to be looked at. Since they don't want the church to fall down. I did get to see some creepy cool skulls and bones, though. Neat-o!

Also saw the Ara Pacis today. Augustus had it built to commemorate the peace he brought to the Republic/Empire. Quite impressive. Really, it looks like a giant box with the top missing. But once someone points out all the symbolism in the friezes, it becomes cooler to nerds like me.

Did some laundry tonight. There is a laundromat not too far from the compound. And the lady there just does it for you. So, I have all clean clothes!!!! Except what I have on! Yay!!! It's the little things, isn't it?

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